The Fate Of Freedom In A Global Pandemic: A Panel Discussion with Kenneth Roth, Mubashar Hasan and Farai Gonzo

Tuesday, Dec 08 2020 10:00 am

In Event Types: Webinar

The Fate Of Freedom In A Global Pandemic

A Panel Discussion with Kenneth Roth, Mubashar Hasan and Farai Gonzo

Apart from being a public health crisis, the COVID-19 pandemic has had far-reaching effects on human rights and freedoms throughout the world. Several authoritarian regimes exploited the crisis to entrench unchecked power, attack critics and stifle freedom of speech and expression. This timely, power-packed panel features veteran human rights activist and Executive Director of Human Rights Watch, Kenneth Roth, and prolific journalists and human rights campaigners, Dr. Mubashar Hasan, and Ms. Farai Gonzo who will reflect on the ways in which state-sponsored repression has grown this year under the cover of the global pandemic. This event is organised in collaboration with the Scholars at Risk Network.

Kenneth Roth

Kenneth Roth

Kenneth Roth is the executive director of Human Rights Watch, one of the world’s leading international human rights organizations, which operates in 100 countries. Prior to joining Human Rights Watch in 1987, Roth served as a federal prosecutor in New York and for the Iran-Contra investigation in Washington. A graduate of Yale Law School and Brown University, Roth has conducted numerous human rights investigations and missions around the world. He has written extensively on a wide range of human rights abuses, devoting special attention to issues of international justice, autocratic populism, the foreign policies of the major powers, and the work of the United Nations. Follow him on Twitter @KenRoth.

Dr. Mubashar Hasan

Dr. Mubashar Hasan

Mubashar Hasan is an Adjunct Research Fellow at the Humanitarian and Development Research Initiative (HADRI), University of Western Sydney, Australia and affiliated with Oslo University as a non-resident fellow. Previously, he was a post-doctoral fellow at the Department of Culture Studies and Oriental Languages, University of Oslo, Norway and an Assistant Professor of Political Science in North South University, Bangladesh. He serves as a member of the Research Advisory Council of RESOLVE Network, housed at the United States Institute of Peace, Washington DC . Mubashar holds a PhD in International Relations from Griffith University, Australia.

Farai Gonzo

Farai Gonzo

Faria Gonzo is a PhD candidate at the social justice education department of University of Toronto’s Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, with the help of Massey College and The Scholars At Risk Network. She put herself in harm’s way in Zimbabwe by working as a radio broadcaster and drawing attention to the demolishment of areas occupied by homeless people who had no other places to settle. Such investigative reporting eventually led to her arrest, imprisonment and torture. But not before she had helped to mobilize NGOs and even government agencies with her broadcasts. One notable result of her radio work was a six-year commitment by a health company to supply sanitary towels for girls in four rural schools and condoms in rural beer halls. Her radio programs also led to sourcing boreholes in six villages, relieving children of the need to travel five kilometers to fetch water. Another positive result was the dispatching of a mobile registration van to rural areas to issue birth certificates to undocumented children. In 1995, she was awarded a fellowship by the Dag Hammarskjöld Fund for Journalists. She was then seconded to the United Nations headquarters in New York where she was a reporter for United Nations radio. As an OISE PhD candidate Gonzo is investigating how radio may ease transition to life in Canada for new immigrants.

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